Friday, December 4, 2020

Home Eat & Drink Your Guide to Utah Pizza

Your Guide to Utah Pizza


Photo by Adam Finkle

Confession: Back in 1993, Salt Lake magazine ran an article about pizza.

Editors ordered pizza delivered from five places, including—hard to admit it—Pizza Hut. We counted the minutes between order and delivery. Then we counted the number of pepperoni slices on our pizza.

That’s how we judged pizza then. Domino’s won.

No more.

Now, ads and windshield flyers should tell you all you need to know about pizza chains. So we’re not even going there. This article rates pizza as it is now. We are dividing the pizzas by style—lifestyle and cooking style. (Sometimes when you want pizza is as relevant as what pizza you want.)

Basically, there was, is, now and ever shall be only three parts to a pizza: The toppings. The crust. And the fire. And all three have improved drastically sinceSalt Lake magazine rated pizza for that issue 21 years ago. You wouldn’t even know this is the same pizzaville.

Here’s a list of the best pies on the Wasatch Front.

And before you start the email onslaught: This is not an inclusive list of pizza. It’s my list. But of course, we want to know what you think. Go to and flame away.


Quality and variety of toppings are what most people notice about a pizza (unless it’s a college style pie, then quantity is what counts.) Hand-pulled mozzarella, house made ricotta, artisanal meats, including pepperoni and other cured meats from Creminelli or another artisanal salumi maker, and true San Marzano tomatoes set the standards for the new pizza.

The Dough 

No one argues that to make good pizza dough, you have to start with high-gluten flour (12 percent is supposed to be ideal.) But after that, it’s a free for all. Pizza Napoletana is made with a soft dough and takes about one minute to cook in a wood-burning oven. New Yorkers claim that the city’s water is why their pizza is inimitable. Baker Ryan Patrick Moore from at From Scratch says that the dough needs to be extensible, not elastic, and that means a long fermentation–or rising–time.

The Fiery Inferno

A gas oven and some slate can only go so far—it’s a fact that the best pizza is made in a brick oven burning fruitwood at temperatures unachievable in a home oven. The increased use of wood ovens is one of the factors that has made Utah pizza so much better in the last few years. One sign of a proper woodfired pizza: big, charred bubbles.

So, without further ado, here are the pizzas:

Strict Neapolitan Style

The rules for true Pizza Napoletana are set down, virtually in stone, by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana. Google it. Basically, this style is foldable–soft by American standards, so it’s usually eaten with knife and fork. It must be cooked in an incredibly hot wood-burning oven.

In Salt Lake, only Settebello adheres to these rules, cooking their pies made with imported 00 flour at 900 to 1,000 degrees in an imported Italian oven. 260 S. 200 West, SLC, 801-322-3556


We can credit–‑of course–‑Californians with breaking all known pizza conventions. Ed LaDou started serving pizzas topped with goat cheese and truffles at Prego. Wolfgang Puck put smoked salmon and caviar on pizza at Spago in the ‘80s era of conspicuous consumption. Alice Waters opened a pizza place next to Chez Panisse; soon, every city had a joint specializing in upscale pizza topped with spinach and duck sausage. (Ladou went on to help open CPK, whence came BBQ chicken pizza. Never a good idea, even in California.)

Pizzeria Limone, a local mini-chain, bases everything on its secret crust recipe, baked in a gas-fired brick oven and finished with some tricky toppings involving lemons and blackberries. But mozzarella is aged, not fresh. Besides the original Cottonwood location, Pizzeria Limone has successfully replicated in Salt Lake City, Sandy and, soon, South Jordan. 1380 Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights.

From Scratch takes artisanal a step further by milling its own flour onsite. Because of their buy-local philosophy, the wheat from Central Milling is a mix, not 100 percent, so the pizza is baked at a lower temperature–450 to 500 degrees–in their wood oven. 62 E. Gallivan Ave., SLC, 801-538-5090

Vinto’s two locations also serve an American artisanal pie baked in a wood burning oven. Like 712, the dough is bit sturdier than Neapolitan pizza and baked at a slightly lower temperature, around 600 degrees. 418 E. 200 South, SLC, 801-539-9999; 900 Main St., Park City, 435-615-9990  

Pizzeria 712, the first restaurant in the Heirloom Restaurant Group, still serves the best pizza in Utah, because of the true chef’s attention brought to bear on the humble pie: locally-grown and made ingredients baked in an Italian-made wood burning oven at 712 degrees. Get it? The simple margherita is the apex of Utah pizza. 320 S. State St. #185, Orem, 801-623-6712

Restaurant Style 

Lots of restaurants serve pizza; here, I’m only talking about places where the pizza is a definitive part of the menu. Best by a long shot is Sea Salt.

Slackwater Pizza & Pub is more pub than a pizzeria, but the pizza is extraordinarily wild for a pub. Try the California Sunrise—it actually involves Green Goddess dressing. 1895 Washington Blvd, Ogden, 801-399-0637

Lugano has a limited pizza menu, but deserves inclusion here because of its version of pizza bianca, with roasted cauliflower and shiitake mushrooms.3364 S. 2300 East, SLC, 801-412-9994

Sea Salt’s pizza are full-on Neapolitan style in spirit–made in a wood burning oven, using San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella (including di bufala), grana padano…meticulously made and topped judiciously with local produce.1709 E. 1300 South, SLC, 801-349-1480

East Coast Style

They say the first pizza establishment in the United States was opened in 1905 in New York’s Little Italy. It was cooked in coal-burning brick ovens, and the cheese was put on the dough before the sauce.

Several places in Utah claim to sell New York-style pizza, but Maxwell’s comes the closest with their 20-inch, thin pies. 357 S. Main St., SLC, 801-328-0304; 1456 Newpark Blvd., Park City, 435-647-0304

Este is a New York hipster pizza; you can tell because their best-selling pie is a veggie with spinach and they also make some pies with vegan cheese. 156 E. 200 South, SLC, 801-363-2366; 2148 S. 900 East, SLC, 801-485-3699

College Style 

In one study, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported 13 percent of the U.S. population consumes pizza on any given day–with young people representing biggest piece of the pie. Don’t even think about wood, or fresh mozzarella or local ingredients: The key to college-style pizza is sheer bulk—mountains of toppings, including lots of meat and cheese—we presume to counteract the beer.

The Pie is Utah’s quintessential college pizza joint. Obviously. And the Pie’s Combo, topped with ham, pepperoni, salami, ground beef and two kinds of sausage, is a best-seller. The original location is a U of U institution, but now there are locations all around Northern Utah. 1320 E. 200 South, SLC, 801-582-0195 

Roasted Sun, a perennial favorite located conveniently not far from the club strip on State, uses an old-school gas deck oven with big pieces of slate. 2010 S. State St., SLC, 801-483-2120

SLABpizza in Provo–BYU’s college pizza of choice–offers the required collegiate mass in a new way. A slab is one quarter of a 20-inch pizza–you order toppings for each slab. 671 E. 800 North, Provo, 801-377-3883

Midnight Pizza

Sometimes you don’t just want pizza, you have to have pizza. Elsewhere, late-night pizza is a whole genre. The pickings are slimmer in Utah, but there is the Pie Hole, where you can get a midnight slice, and when all else fails, Big Daddy’s even has an ordering app for your smartphone. You don’t even have to think to order this pizza.

Pie Hole

344 S. State St, SLC, 801-359-4653

Big Daddy’s

470 S. 700 East, SLC, 801-746-7499

Back>>>Read other stories in our July/August 2014 issue.

Mark your calendars! Our 12 Days of Giveaways starts Dec 1! ✨⁠

With giveaway items from local businesses such as @gotbeautydotcom, @woodhouseholladay, @cactusandtropicals and many more, you won't want to miss this! 🎁⁠

Here's the idea: ⁠
⭐ Tag a friend on our giveaway post who you believe should win the giveaway item! The person you tag is then entered to win! (Friends can tag one another) 💑⁠
⭐ Be sure to follow us (@slmag) and the giveaway provider on insta! ⁠
⭐ Entry deadline will be at 10PM. The winner will be announced at 11:59PM and a new prize will be posted at 8AM each day. ⁠

#giveaways #win #contest #christmas #gift #holiday #12daysofgiveaways #slmag

A holiday letter from our editor, Mary Brown Malouf:⁠

"It’s the season for celebration. And let’s face it—it was a bad year for cheer. Nevertheless, though masked and socially distanced, we will join together again this year in love and joy for one another. We will clink glasses, feast, toast to a better future and enjoy what we have, taking care to live in the moment. Remembering the good times in the midst of the not-so-good and pledging to support one another."⁠

Have a wonderful and safe holiday. Cheers! 🥂⁠

To read the full letter, go to the link in bio.

Happy Friday! We all know the best way to celebrate the end of the week is with a cocktail 😉! ⁠

🍸 And our next highlighted cocktail is the perfect way to start your weekend. @alibislc's 'Far From The Tree' by Clif Reagle:⁠

1.5 oz. @shdistillery Bourbon⁠
1.5 oz. Utah Honey and Akane Apple Shrub⁠
.25+ oz. @waterpocketdistillery Snow Angel .25 oz. lemon juice⁠
Barspoon of simple syrup⁠
2 dashes Regans Orange Bitters⁠
Combine in shaker over ice, shake and strain into a footed glass. Serve with dried apple garnish.⁠

“My goal for this drink was to make it with as many local ingredients as possible,” says Reagle, “and seeing as the farm scene is pretty quiet in November I decided to go with a classic method of fruit preservation: the shrub.⁠

VOTE VOTE VOTE AWAY! Grab our magazine, grab a cocktail (or make it yourself) and get voting. Cheers!🥂⁠

Link in bio to vote and learn more about Clif Reagle!

Yes. Thanksgiving is going to be different this year. So instead of stressing out to prepare a meal, help support local restaurants who need our love this Thanksgiving. 🦃⁠

Restaurants are doing what they can to make this Thanksgiving seamless for us. With offerings of curbside pick up, meal kits, and even delivery, ordering out this Thanksgiving seems like a no-brainer.⁠

Oh and did we mention no family-sized mess to clean up afterward? That’s a win-win in our book. 😉 Check the link in bio for full list of restaurants. 🍽️

Don't forget to vote in our 2020 Cocktail Contest!! 🍸🍹🥂⁠

Our next highlighted coktail is @thecopperonion's “Not Today Satan” by Frank Mealy:⁠

1.5 oz. @shdistillery Bourbon⁠
1.5 oz. pear shrub (Champagne Vinegar/Earl Grey simple 2:1)⁠
.75 oz. lemon juice⁠
Preheat glass with hot water. Mix ingredients, pour into the hot glass, top with hot water and garnish with cinnamon stick, star anise and dried pear.⁠

Mealy is a full-time bartender for the Copper Group. “Inspiration for this drink came from the expectation that we’re going to be running our outdoor patio season longer because of Covid.” People are more comfortable sitting outside, Mealy says, “So I wanted to make a hot drink for the colder months.”⁠

VOTE VOTE VOTE AWAY! Grab our magazine, grab a cocktail (or make it yourself) and get voting. Cheers!🥂⁠

Link in bio to vote and learn more about Frank Mealy!

Our 2020 Cocktail Contest is live!! 🍸🍹🥂

We’ll be highlighting our cocktail contest contestants throughout the next few weeks. Starting with @takashi_slc’s “Red Dirt Garden” by Crystal Daniels:

- 1.5 oz. Amaro Bilaro
- .5 oz. @shdistillery Barrel-strength Rye
- .75 oz. Lemon juice
- 1 oz. Red rice orgeat made with @redbuttegarden botanicals
- Pinch of Jacobsen Salt from @caputosmarket

Daniels garnished her cocktail with banana leaves and an edible begonia- if you can’t get the begonia, another colorful edible bloom will do. 🌺

VOTE VOTE VOTE AWAY! Grab our magazine, grab a cocktail (or make it yourself) and get voting. Cheers!🥂

Link in bio to vote!

Did you know that the first woman to cast a ballot in the United States voted right here in Salt Lake City?

In 1870, on her way to work as a schoolteacher, Seraph Young stopped by SLC’s old City Hall—right across from the Capitol—and made history as the first woman to vote under a women's equal suffrage law.

Like many of us, Young voted early in that election simply because she had to get to work on time. Her story reminds us of the power ordinary people have to make history. Now, get out and vote!

Photo: Ron Fox

Our November-December issue is on stands now!!⁠

And our annual cocktail contest is open for voting! Take all precautions, support our hardworking hospitality community and remember to smile. 🍹🍸🧉⁠

Pick up a magazine, grab a cocktail and vote! Happy November, everyone! ⁠

Check the link in bio to vote.

Trick or treat? COVID cases are getting scary.

111K confirmed cases and 601 deaths in Utah.

Link in bio for a little op-ed on face masks. 😷